‘It’s just wrong’: Your response to border closure survey
DENIAL of vital medical treatment, separation from family, an impact on livelihood and a decline in mental health are just some of the comments made by people responding to Lismore City Council's survey on the QLD border closure.
More than 220 people who have been affected by the border closure with Queensland have already completed a survey by the council since it was posted online five days ago.
"The response rate has been extremely strong and gives you an indication of the hardship the decision by the Queensland Government to close the border is having on border communities like ours," mayor Isaac Smith said.
"All of those who have responded have been affected in some way, and many of their stories are heart-wrenching. The one takeaway from this survey so far is that much more thought needs to be put into the possible far-reaching repercussions of slamming closed this busy border.
"While we understand the need to move quickly to stop the spread of COVID-19, all governments need to think a lot harder about the impact their decisions are having on local communities.
"I encourage everyone who has been affected by the border closure and have not yet completed the survey, to do so before in closes on September 4.
The results of the completed survey will be provided to Lismore MP Janelle Saffin, the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation of Councils and the NSW State Government.
Below are extracts of comments by those who have completed the survey.
• "My business has suffered financially directly as a result of the QLD border closure."
• "I have two step children whose biological parent lives in Queensland, because of the closure of the border, they cannot visit."
• "Emergency services are severely impacted by the closure with a significant percentage of workers now unable to work which also impacts heavily on those who remain".
• "There is too much ambiguity and a lack of communication in the QLD health system to get a straight answer. There is also little opportunity to discuss or manage your application once you have applied."
• "The people making these decisions obviously have never lived near the border. They have no idea how often people on the Far North Coast/inland use health facilities/specialists there."
• "It is impacting on local cancer care services."
• "We need to be able to access mental health services across the border. I was already suffering severe depression and anxiety prior to COVID and spent time as an inpatient and need to continue my treatment."
• "Community Transport is unable to take patients to Qld hospitals for appointments or surgery."
• "One of my parents needed a heart operation. The QLD hospital initially refused to take them because they lived in NSW, they were accepted but no family members are allowed to visit. It is just wrong."
• "NSW is not just Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. We are not a hotspot but we are being treated like we are."
• "I live in Qld and need to visit my elderly parent in Lismore on a regular basis. The mental stress is not good for either of us. The Queensland Government is out of control on this."
• "We were turned away at the border for an essential medical appointment for my baby after even though we had all the required documentation."
• "We can't see our teenage child who lives in QLD and has health issues."
• "We also can't go into QLD for work which is affecting our livelihood."